A fully thought-out and well rehearsed disaster recovery plan is a vital part of any company’s insurance policy. Just like a policy that provides financial protection in the event of a break-in, flood or fire, a disaster recovery plan ensures that the business won’t suffer financially should a catastrophic event hit its IT systems.
The costs involved in disaster recovery can be considerable, but these pale in comparison to the financial impact that the worst disasters can have on a business. Affecting companies of all sizes, in almost any industry, IT disasters have the potential to destroy reputations, and waste many years of hard work. And that’s why disaster recovery should be seen as a priority.
If you’re thinking about ways in which your company could improve its disaster recovery plans, take a look at some of our top cost reduction strategies. Not only will these ensure better efficiency in disaster recovery, they’ll also reduce the overall spend on recovery, and get your business back on its feet faster.
Start with a thorough audit
A crystal clear disaster recovery plan isn’t just important in terms of protecting a company’s reputation and avoiding potential calamities. For some companies, a detailed disaster recovery plan is actually required by law.
Ensure that every member of your organisation knows about the company’s legal responsibilities when it comes to disaster recovery, checking that any data being stored is protected in line with current compliance regulations. A thorough audit will allow you to spot any issues that your company might face in terms of compliance, and ensure that all responsible team members understand the importance of disaster recovery.
Eliminate overly complex storage setups
Businesses grow over time, and so too do their storage needs. But all too often this results in overly complex systems where multiple locations and cloud-based services are relied upon for storage. While this isn’t necessarily a problem, it can quickly become one if your organisation finds itself battling a system outage or other infrastructure issue.
To keep things simple, consolidate your storage by moving assets into a single, reliable location which can be accessed quickly and easily when required. If flexibility is a concern, opt for a data center offering the potential to increase storage in line with your company’s growing needs. This will ensure that your business has a data center it can rely on as it expands.
Automate processes where possible
Automation is a powerful move in terms of cost reduction, and it can be a huge help in disaster recovery too. By automating the processes that team members manage every day, you’ll save time and money, freeing up capacity for staff to concentrate on more complex projects.
The potential for human error is significantly reduced through the automation of a range of IT tasks, and this can also limit the risk of system outages. If you’re unsure which tasks your company might be able to automate, start thinking about things like data replication and system deployment. The automation of these processes alone can quickly provide enormous benefits to team members, and to the business as a whole.
Clear out unused assets
Far too many companies cling on to assets that haven’t been used in years, leaving them sitting idle for no reason at all. Not only is this a waste of money, it’s also a real waste of space. And this is important, because space that’s currently being occupied by unwanted assets could in fact be put to better use to help in disaster recovery.
Start by auditing assets, and identify any that are no longer required. Remove these to free up space, and start to reduce your company’s storage costs. The money saved here can be redirected to other processes, such as strengthening disaster recovery plans and investing in better disaster recovery training for your team.
Don’t be afraid to start from scratch
The expense involved in disaster recovery is considerable, but in some cases these costs are actually higher than they need to be. And that’s because a high proportion of organisations tend to rely on disaster recovery plans that have been added to bit by bit over the years. This tends to result in an inefficient plan which isn’t quite up to the task.
If your disaster recovery plan has been largely the same for a long period of time, it may be worth wiping the slate clean and starting a new one. Doing so will help to avoid overreliance on strategies that are out-of-date, and it’ll get your teams thinking about the best possible way of approaching a problem. Start designing a new plan and you may be surprised by your options.
Make sure your plan is fully documented
Disaster recovery plans should always be fully documented. When disaster strikes, there’s a real risk that those on duty might not be crystal clear on what they should do – no matter how many times plans have been rehearsed, and how robust your training programmes have been.
If a plan is written down and fully documented, teams won’t have to think twice about what they should do. And they won’t make a mistake. Armed with all the information they need, responsible team members will be able to get straight to work on fixing the problem. This will keep any downtime to a minimum, reducing the overall cost of the disaster and limiting its impact on the business.
Disaster recovery is a hugely important and worthwhile investment, in terms of both money and time. A good disaster recovery plan has the potential to save the day when things start to look as if they’re getting out of control, putting out a small fire before it becomes the sort of raging inferno that can consume a business.
Pay careful attention to your company’s disaster recovery plans, ensuring that the whole team is fully aware of what they are and how they should play out. By pracisting and planning for a disaster regularly, you’ll be fully equipped to stop an emergency well before it brings the business to its knees.